Times are tough at Staples, which announced last month it intends to shutter as many as 225 American shops within two years. North of its around 1,850 The office supplies retailer also said it’s abandoning low-selling product lines, although it’sn’t identified any yet. The firm has raised earnings from copy and print services over the past two years, partly offsetting earnings declines from sales of printers and other hardware. Now it ’s trying to do exactly the same with 3D printers.
Purchasing a 3D printer from Staples runs customers about $1,500, and few can use one often enough to warrant the investment. The firm has been offering 3D printing services at two test stores in Nyc and Los Angeles. The idea would be to appeal to small business owners — including engineers, jewelry makers, and architects—trying to develop prototypes or turn product runs out. The machines also can quickly create company tchotchkes for example fridge magnets and custom pens. Depending on the materials needed, Staples says as little as a couple of dollars could charge or, in the instance of a running 3D-printed guitar, as much as a couple thousand.